When studying the brains of psychopaths with an MRI, they tend to have a very thin amygdala. That is the part of the brain that is responsible for human emotion, and stored memories of what you need to be afraid of. In a laboratory study, when the amygdala is removed from a rat’s brain, they will never run away. They’ll even climb on top of a cat.
- The first known American serial killer was Dr. H. H. Holmes, who targeted people visiting the Chicago World’s Fair in 1890. He killed at least 27 people, and claimed to not be able to help himself.
- While Holmes was the first one who was actually caught, there were serial killers way before the 1890’s. Historians say that legends of werewolves and vampires began because they could not explain the random and brutal deaths of people in their towns and villages.
- Psychopaths all have a trait that’s called “Fearless Dominance.” They are aggressive in situations where most people may back down in face of conflict or danger.
- We’ve already established that psychopaths are pathological liars, and they’re really confident, too. This makes them believe that they are such brilliant liars that everyone around them believes their malarkey, and that they can outsmart just about anyone on the planet. Ironically, the lies murders come up with are usually pretty stupid and transparent. In fact, the vast majority of serial killers have a below-average IQ
- Psychopaths tend to believe that they are the “best” at something, and feel overly confident in themselves. For example, a psychopath who is mildly good at sports may claim that they are equally as talented as someone in the Olympics.
- While some criminals plead insanity in an attempt to go to a mental hospital instead of prison, records show that anyone who is labeled a “psychopath” by a psychologist actually gets harsher punishments. One study showed that judges sentence them to twice the normal amount of jail time, because they consider them to be a serious threat to society.
- Psychopaths are very selfish people. They cannot feel love, and only use people for what they want. They tend to live a “parasitic lifestyle” where they expect other people to pay for their needs.
- Most serial killers were sexually abused when they were children.
- Psychopaths almost never plan for the future. They may claim to have goals, but they are usually totally unrealistic.
- One major sign that a child is a serial killer is when they kill animals. Jeffrey Dahmer’s parents knew that he enjoyed dissecting animals, and yet didn’t seem to think it was weird.
- Psychopaths do not feel guilt for their actions, and they cannot feel empathy towards other people’s feelings. This is similar to a “sociopath,” but a true psychopath is very frightening, and even dangerous. Ted Bundy was quoted saying, “I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.”
- The term “serial killer” was coined by FBI Special Agent Robert K. Ressler in 1971. The Netflix series “MINDHUNTER” is based on the true story of the early FBI agents who began to realize the nature of serial killers.
- Psychopaths feel very few real emotions, but they have the to be very charming. The serial killer Ted Bundy was said to be very charismatic. He even tried to run for governor.
“We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow.” — Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy underwent a psychological evaluation in the Utah State Prison. Since he had taken Psychology classes in college, Bundy knew exactly how to answer all of the questions to manipulate the results to make him seem completely normal. His psychologist, Dr. Carlisle, was so fascinated that he ended up writing two books on the minds of serial killers.
- While drugs and alcohol do not turn people into serial killers, 70% of them have a history of substance abuse.
- Thankfully, psychopaths only account for 1% of the population. Then again, that’s not that rare…
- The major difference between someone who kills for money or passion and a serial killer is that a true psychopath is never afraid of anything. That includes getting caught by the police, or the possibility of spending life in prison. A study from Georgetown University found that even as young children, psychopaths have never experienced fear, which means they could never be able to imagine what they’re putting their victims through.
- Psychopaths don’t take any responsibility for their own actions. They tend to blame other people for their mistakes. In many cases, a killer will blame the victim or someone in their life for “making them do it”
- Serial killers tend to fantasize about a lot of things. They find comfort living in this imaginary place in their mind, and they don’t know how to control the desire for their strange sexual fantasies. Combined with their lack of empathy, this is why many serial killers rape and force women to do really, really weird stuff.
- Anyone who has been in love knows how addictive that uplifting, happy feeling can be. Well, the chemical in your brain that causes love is called “dopamine.” This chemical also causes those passionate feelings of lust, the urge to gamble, and motivation for success. It just so happens that serial killers and psychopaths have an overactive amount of dopamine going on in their brains. So they’re pretty much addicted to feeling that excited dopamine rush all the time. If life is just “OK”, and they’re they’re not feeling some kind of satisfaction from “winning” something, they find other ways to satisfy their addiction–like manipulating people into get what they want.
- When you ask a psychopath about a traumatic event from their past, they tend not to want to talk about it. Even if a specific event triggered their behavior as a child, they tend to block it out, which makes it nearly impossible to talk through the problems in therapy.
- In 2012, there was a scientific study on emotions of psychopaths. First, researchers showed video clips of various emotional interactions, and they felt nothing. They even slapped them on the back of their hands with a plastic ruler, which is very painful, and yet their brain didn’t register the pain. Then, they asked the test subjects to try to empathize with the emotions in some video clips. They showed scenes of someone being beaten and abused. Finally, the section of the psychopath’s brain with memories of pain lit up on the MRI. These scientists have theorize that maybe psychopaths have an “on and off switch” for their emotions, and they have been through so much abuse during their childhoods, that they simply choose to keep the lights off.
The vast majority of doctors believe that there is no possible way to rehabilitate a serial killer. Many of them receive life in prison, or the death penalty.